When I was a skinny 9-year-old, I was attacked by a friend's Great Dane dog. Major and I had been good friends up until then.
That day, Major was standing by his in-heat mate's cage. He didn't want to play with me.
In frustration, I pushed his head, saying, "Oh go on and be with your girlfriend."
That was all it took. Major turned on me like a freight train, rearing up, towering over me by several feet.
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His claws tore holes in my head and shoulder. He grabbed my arm and tore five holes inside the elbow. I ran screaming into the house and was rushed to the hospital.
Since my mother was not present, the hospital could not anesthetize me. Instead I had 21 injections of Novocain.
Deep muscles were torn apart. It took four hours and 45 stitches. I screamed the entire time.
Then came weeks of trips to the doctor for some sort of X-ray treatment and penicillin shots. Fortunately, I retained full use of my arm.
What happened to Major? Was he put down? Killed for following his instincts? Killed for the pain and suffering he inflicted on a 9-year-old child?
Did my parents insist on involving the authorities so they could kill the giant monster? Did I develop a permanent fear of dogs from the attack?
None of the above! I loved Major. It wasn't his fault. I invaded his territory. It wasn't an unprovoked attack. Within weeks we were buddies again -- me hugging him around the neck, him licking my face, playing with me like a puppy.
My heart goes out to Karen Erskine on the loss of Buck and Bill. No doubt there is more to the story than we know.
Perhaps the other animal-loving attorneys in town will rectify the judge's kill order when it is time to vote to retain him or not.